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You know the revenue is out there, and you know an email campaign can help you get it. But how do you keep your campaign under control when it's running for weeks and months?
Email autoresponders can save you a ton of time and generate huge returns on campaign investments. Automation can be a double-edged sword, however.
The sad truth is that many thoughtful email campaigns become wallpapers in the inbox. It only takes a few erroneous or untargeted emails for your audience to turn them off.
A good email autoresponder gives you the opportunity to connect with customers on a large scale. without overpowering them.
Or your team. These products eliminate many of the tedious and repetitive tasks that are so important to building relationships on a large scale.
Delight your customers with content they are interested in. Get full insight into your open and click rates and watch them increase.
Let's go over the best email autoresponders, what they can do for you, and how to choose the right one.
The top 5 options for email autoresponders
- Mailchimp – Best for Beginners
- MailerLite – Best Free Email Autoresponder
- Klaviyo – Best for e-commerce
- GetResponse – Best for sales teams
- Moosend – Best for simple marketing automation
How to choose the best email autoresponder for you
Email autoresponders can help your teams get more done in less time without sacrificing the personal touch that generates clicks. However, not all email autoresponders are created equal.
Some are good for a short series of 3-5 emails welcoming a new contact and warming up on your products – good for a simple customer journey.
Others will help you set up complex automated workflows that respond to customer behavior, shopping trends, and other triggers you define.
The end goal is to set up something that automatically sends the right message to the right customer at the right time.
Here are the key features of email autoresponders that help businesses increase their chances of success:
It's spot on in the name – the great boon of autoresponders is automating simple, manual campaign tasks.
However, the more robust tools integrate with your customer databases or CRM and allow you to define triggers based on a number of highly personalized criteria.
Popular automation features include:
- Welcome / onboarding: Welcome new users, customers or employees
- Web trigger: Get in touch when someone clicks a link, fills out a form, updates a field, makes a purchase, or joins a group
- memories: Send time-sensitive emails about offers or webinars
- Celebrations: Send discounts for birthdays and anniversaries
- VIP: Trigger discounts and special offers for loyal customers
- Abandoned car: Contact a customer with the option of buying items in their shopping cart
- Follow up: Reach out after a purchase or an interaction
- A / B tests: Experiment with different versions of the same email to analyze performance and refine your strategy
- Branch streams: Create workflows that split customers based on conditional or logical triggers to direct them on the most appropriate path
With a really good autoresponder, you can create workflows in a visual editor so you can get a bird's eye view of every trigger and step in the process.
Make sure you choose something with the features you need to shape every client's entire journey.
Don't forget to create great emails. They need to be engaging from the subject line to the CTA, and every element needs to be optimized for web and mobile.
Good email autoresponders make these challenges much easier. My favorite products have intuitive visual email builders that you can use to create convertible content.
Not only can you quickly design beautiful emails, but you can also add buttons, embed content, and preview how your email will look exactly from the customer's point of view.
Find an autoresponder with an email editor that your reps will enjoy using and that will also produce predictable results.
With that, you'll find that your teams will be able to generate branded emails quickly, consistently creating the perfect message for every step of a customer's journey.
The contacts that make up your list are different people. That should go without saying.
But even today, many companies still rely on email to blow their full list to get the word out.
Effective email campaigns are based on introducing customers to the things they actually want.
With the help of email segmentation, you can use customer data for better targeting and divide your contact list into groups based on the following criteria:
- Average expenses
- Cart content
- Previous purchases
- Weather conditions
- Website behavior
Companies like Starbucks offer weather-appropriate discounts on drinks: it's no coincidence that their emails entice consumers to warm up on a rainy day or to cool off when the temperature rises.
This is a whole new way of reaching customers where they are.
Every company defines its important segments differently. The bigger your customer data, the easier it is to use email segmentation to increase your conversion rate.
Automated, personalized emails go way beyond using a contact's name in the subject line.
For example, Klaviyo lets you automate the inclusion of product recommendations in the text of your email based on a contact's location, previous purchases, current weather, etc.
Some autoresponders use machine learning to suggest products that other buyers with similar tastes have ordered.
The best tools will help you do the simple things – like greeting subscribers by name and remembering their birthdays – and help you convert customer data into revenue.
Tip: The better your email segmentation strategy, the easier it is to take advantage of personalization, especially on scale.
As your contact list grows, more different customers will be involved at different stages of their buying journey.
You want an email autoresponder that you can use to manage this growing list and keep track of the ongoing performance of your campaign.
We all know the open rates and click rates. These are important, but make sure you find something to drill down into at the end of the day, such as: B. Revenue per email, ROI per email, and total revenue per email sent.
Staying effective in the long term means making adjustments. You can use campaign management tools to find out what is working and what needs to be changed.
Email and subscriber restrictions
Typically, email autoresponders are priced based on the number of subscribers you have and the number of emails you send each month.
This should be a pretty simple consideration. However, if your goal is growth, consider how many more you want to add to your list over the next few months, quarters, or years.
If your email marketing strategy is catching on and you have to hit a higher price tier, is this a problem for your budget and ROI?
The different types of email autoresponders
Email autoresponders have been around for a long time. Virtually all of your best options today are offered as a component of a larger email marketing service.
Even so, you can still find tools to automate email marketing without adding new services to your business processes.
The questions you need to answer are: Are you looking for basic email autoresponder features that you can use to automate certain workflows? Or do you want to automate complex email workflows that fit into your larger marketing strategy?
If you answered yes to the first question, a dedicated email automation tool should help you achieve your goals. If you answered yes to the second question, you will want to move on to the bundled products that better suit your needs.
Dedicated email automation tools
Exemplary products: MailerLite, Mailchimp (Free & Essentials), GetResponse (Basic), Moosend (Free)
Use free email autoresponders and lower-level plans to create simple workflows. This can be a series of greetings, an automated response to a new customer or purchase, or a follow-up with someone who has just reached out to customer service.
These particular email automation tools are great because they are so easy to use. Virtually every member of the team can put together workflows that save time every day.
Of course, these options don't offer that many features to segment your list, personalize emails, or manage a campaign.
Another potential problem is that without advanced tracking and reporting, it can be more difficult to evaluate your campaign's performance and make adjustments.
However, thanks to dedicated email automation tools, individuals can achieve far more than they could ever do manually.
If you already have a number of online marketing tools that are working well and all you need is email automation, these products can work wonders with little effort.
Automation bundled with email marketing tools
Exemplary products: Klaviyo, Mailchimp (Standard & Pro), Moosend (Pro & Custom)
To provide a more complete tool for the job, there are a number of autoresponders that offer automation that is bundled with email marketing tools.
With these products you can easily track customers, analyze their behavior and revise your campaign strategies accordingly.
Tools like Klaviyo, for example, can be integrated directly into your customer data and offer you powerful segmentation and personalization functions without additional effort.
You can also use it to create complex workflows that you can use to tailor your automation strategy to your specific needs. They often include a visual builder that makes designing and managing flows a lot easier.
With email marketing services, it's important to realize that sub-plans work more like simple automation tools, even if they're the same product.
For example, Mailchimp allows you to create tiered trips with the Essentials tier. However, you cannot include branch points unless you are given the standard plan. If you want to take advantage of all of the segmentation features that make your tiered trip more effective, you need to purchase the Premium plan.
# 1 – Mailchimp – Best for beginners
Mailchimp is a powerful product that hasn't lost its simple feel, despite having grown significantly since it was launched in 2001.
Today it functions as an integrated marketing platform and takes far more responsibility than the email automation it became famous for.
Despite its depth, I like Mailchimp as a beginner email autoresponder because it constantly provides user recommendations based on information from billions of email interactions.
The subject line helper, for example, offers data-driven insights into the increase in open and click rates.
There are many other great features including:
- Drag and drop email editor
- Segmentation functions for targeted messaging and automation of product recommendations
- Send time optimization
- Customer trips with several branches
- Behavior-based automation
- Lookalike audience finder
- RSS via email
- Transactional emails using Mailchimp API or SMTP
Mailchimp offers a free forever version that is limited to 2,000 contacts but includes features like a marketing CRM and landing pages that you won't get with other freemium email autoresponders.
To get the Customer Journey Builder, which allows you to create workflows in a visual editor, you need one of the paid plans:
- BasicsStarting at $ 9.99 / month for 500 contacts
- defaultStarting at $ 14.99 / month for 500 contacts
- bonusFrom $ 299 / month for 10,000 contacts
Some of the features mentioned above, like predicted demographics or the lookalike crowd finder, are only available in Standard and Premium.
Millions of businesses have seen Mailchimp increase their ROI. You can start with the free version today, knowing that it also has tools to help you grow.
# 2 – MailerLite – Best Free Email Autoresponder
MailerLite is used by more than a million businesses, startups, and freelancers because it is an intuitive, budget-friendly platform that delivers results.
The free version lets you send 12 emails per month to 1,000 subscribers. This is possibly all some users need to get started.
For an easy-to-use email autoresponder, MailerLite offers simple yet powerful features to help you optimize your campaign.
I like to use A / B split tests to send two flavors of an email and see which one does better.
The clean MailerLite interface gives your teams the control they need to communicate effectively with your subscribers.
Some of its best features are:
- Automate RSS via email
- Time zone based email delivery
- Automatically resend unopened emails with alternate subjects or personal messages
- Segment subscribers according to different criteria
- Extensive email personalization
- Target specific interest groups by tagging subscribers or inviting them to self-select
- Track the activity of email campaigns with detailed reports
- Click Maps to analyze how subscribers interact with your email
MailerLite also has features to customize your website experience, like popups and embedded forms, as well as an amazing drag-and-drop editor for creating eye-catching newsletters.
Better still, it's very affordable beyond the free version.
- Free: Up to 1,000 subscribers, 12,000 monthly email limit
- $ 10 / month: Up to 1,000 subscribers, unlimited emails
- $ 15 / month: Up to 2,500 subscribers, unlimited emails
- $ 30 / month: Up to 5,000 subscribers, unlimited emails
- $ 50 / month: Up to 10,000 subscribers, unlimited emails
As a free email autoresponder, MailerLite is hard to beat for small businesses. You get a free website with five landing pages, a visual drag and drop email editor, and advanced segmentation features.
It's almost inappropriately generous.
For businesses that need paid plans, the price is still very competitive and the premium features pay off many times over.
# 3 – Klaviyo – Best for ecommerce
Klaviyo is connected to a CRM or e-commerce platform and makes it easy to deliver ultra-personalized content via email.
No more unfocused e-mail explosions to the public. Instead, Klaviyo allows users to create unique customer journeys for long-time fans and first-time window shoppers.
Because of the native integration with customer data sources, you can make the segmentation fairly precise.
With the simple user interface, anyone on your team can maximize the relevant content that every visitor sees.
Klaviyo works across many channels and allows you to expand your subscriber base via Facebook, for example.
The features in Klaviyo's extensive toolkit allow you to nurture individual leads from 10,000 feet away:
- Pre-made autoresponders
- Email personalization for first time buyers, repeat customers, VIPs and more
- A / B split test
- Drag and drop WYSIWYG email editor
- Responsive templates optimized for web and mobile
- Buyable product recommendations by email
- Wide range of behavior-based triggers
- Comprehensive segmentation options
The free plan for Klaviyo is a maximum of 250 contacts and 500 emails. After that, you will be asked to upgrade. Paid plans start at $ 20 per month for up to 500 contacts and unlimited emails and grow based on the size of your contact list.
# 4 – GetResponse – Best for sales teams
GetResponse has been providing one of the simplest, most effective email autoresponders for more than 20 years. During that time, they have added features and refined the user interface to make it one of the most useful products on the market.
Your experience shows. They know what works, why, and how they can help you set it up.
For one, GetResponse offers hundreds of professionally designed templates to communicate with customers every step of their journey.
The built-in sales features are really nice too and really set GetResponse apart from the other easy-to-use autoresponders. Even their basic plan includes a sales funnel, unlimited lead funnels, and unlimited landing pages.
Other email autoresponders require you to integrate your pipeline. With GetResponse you can keep daily operations under one roof.
In addition to a flexible email autoresponder, GetResponse offers a number of other useful functions that you can use to connect with customers:
- Unlimited email transmissions
- Transactional and time-sensitive emails
- Drag-and-drop preview email editor for mobile and inbox
- Add content blocks, videos, social media buttons and icons to email
- A / B tests
- List and calendar views for email planning
- RSS email templates
GetResponse doesn't have a free forever plan, but does offer a free trial. Prices start at $ 15 / month for 1,000 contacts on their basic plan, which includes all of the features listed above.
And much more. In all fairness, the basic plan is far from easy.
At the Plus and Professional price levels, you have more functions such as webinars and a higher degree of customization available.
The top tier plan Max includes a dedicated IP address, SSO, and other functions designed to secure and optimize corporate email marketing and sales.
# 5 – Moosend – Best for simple marketing automation
Moosend is an affordable email automation tool with an almost non-existent learning curve. However, as easy to get started, Moosend users automate their email marketing in a really effective way.
It's sad to think, but some companies spend thousands of dollars a month on high-performance marketing automation software that they don't really need. Plus, the stuff can be very difficult to use.
Moosend gives you a lot of freedom to customize your email marketing automation. There are a variety of triggers and actions, all of which are managed using drag and drop. Workflows can be shared by team members who can leave notes.
The Moosend interface itself is ideal for teaching users how to automate and optimize customer trips. With templates, preset workflows, and extensive tracking features, Moosend makes it easy to find out what works for your unique subscriber base.
Use AI to personalize your emails based on similar customer preferences and other behavioral analysis.
You recently added "And / Or" expressions to custom fields. This allows much greater customization in terms of the definition of triggers. Custom fields don't have to be just a thing anymore!
Without writing a single line of code, you can quickly master a number of email automation features, including:
- Extensive tracking, reporting and analysis
- Click on Heatmaps
- Five types of registration forms
- Direct SMTP service
- Car demolition
- Embed product blocks in newsletters for shoppable emails
- Mobile responsiveness
- GDPR compliance
- Native integrations with WooCommerce, Salesforce, WordPress and dozens of other top products
Moosend has a free forever plan that is limited to 1,000 subscribers and has many of the best features. For additional subscribers, you'll need a Pro plan that starts at $ 8 / month.
The exact price will depend on the number of subscribers you need to include. For example, 25,000 subscribers is $ 100 per month. The Pro plan is capped at 200,000 subscribers ($ 608 / month). Custom plans are available to target audiences of all sizes.
Compared to other, more expensive options, Moosend is also much easier to use with many of the same essential features.
Many people start looking for an email autoresponder to find that they actually need an email marketing platform.
The closest option to a dedicated email autoresponder on this list is MailerLite, which goes far beyond simple email automation features. This is a really good option (and a good price) for companies that already have great CRM software and really just need the email autoresponder functionality.
Mailchimp and Moosend are more feature-packed than MailerLite, but both remain incredibly easy to use for the layman.
GetResponse works well for sales teams because you have conversion funnels and the ability to host webinars is built in.
Probably the most complete tool on this list, Klaviyo works incredibly well at automating the processes required to run a successful email ecommerce campaign.
I like all of these email autoresponders because they help you capitalize on the inevitable trial and error associated with email marketing.
No campaign will ever be perfect, but the right tools will help you continually evolve your strategy to meet your customers where they are.